About the Author
I’m a Derbyshire ‘girl’, born and raised in the county, and I have always lived and worked here. I started life in Newbold where I attended the Church school and then progressed to St. Helena Girls’ High School in Chesterfield.
If I had been told back then that I would one day have a book published, I would have thought the suggestion was ridiculous. I write in rhyme and wonder whether that originated from my love of ‘Rupert’ books as a child when I only ever read the rhyming couplets beneath the pictures, never the full story!
I had written a few rhymes for friends who were celebrating special occasions in their lives but then the idea came to attempt a children’s story.
‘Alfie’ my cat had his own tale to tell…
That’s when the unexpected happened.
Everyone liked ‘Alfie’s Story’ and suddenly it became a challenge to see how far I could take him.
Purely by chance, I met artist, Liz Furness, and she was keen to add her imagination and beautiful illustrations to the story.
One of her imaginings was to introduce pictures of a mouse into “Alfie’s Story” and so I decided that the mouse needed a story of his own! “Fearless Flynn” was born… though his name came from a competition I ran across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. 7-year-old Matthew from a primary school in Nottingham came up with the name “Flynn”.
My first two books, published in 2014 and 2015, sold well in a number of local outlets, one of which was the gift shop at Cromford Mill near Matlock, Derbyshire. As a result, the Arkwright Society (charged with the upkeep and renovation of Richard Arkwright’s mill) commissioned me to write a story for their mascot – Arkwright the Duck, which was published in 2016.
My fourth book, like “Alfie’s Story”, is another true tale about three kittens whom I adopted from the animal welfare shelter in Ashbourne, just before Christmas. “Milly, Molly and Maisy – a Tale of Three Kittens” was published in 2018.
My next, “Owl to the Rescue”, features lots of woodland creatures and tells the exciting story of how wise old owl rescues some of his woodland friends. It was published in October 2019. Also that year, I had my proudest moment when I was accepted as an official supplier to the National Trust.
I can hardly believe that I have now published six books, each with its own character soft toy to accompany it. Inevitably, the Covid lockdown brought my efforts to a temporary halt. Thanks to my loyal customers – and I mean “thank you”! – my online sales continued. I also took the opportunity to publish a revised second edition of “Milly, Molly and Maisy” in 2020, this time illustrated by Liz Furness, my illustrator for my other books. And sales were boosted, early in 2021, by an approach I received from the Marriott Hotels group who purchased 600 copies of my books.
On 31 July 2022, after achieving over 20,000 sales of all my books, I launched my sixth title, “Bobby Dog”. The National Trust at Calke Abbey near Derby hosted this event, which was a tremendous success – for me as well as them!
When I started this adventure in 2014, I could never have imagined that, in such a short time, I would have sold so many books. Thank you ever so much to all my readers – young and old!